The cocktail party effect describes the human ability to direct attention to a single sound source amongst a mixture of competing sources. Under certain conditions signal fragments from these sources can be removed without creating a perceptible effect (often referred to as the continuity illusion). In this study we evaluate the impact of removing fine spectral detail in the regions of spectro-temporal overlap between a pure tone and a white noise source using Fourier spectral gating. We go on to discuss the use of spectral gating in the treatment of natural signals in relation to the discontinuities that are introduced and their effect on the continuity illusion.
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